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Sunday, June 9, 2024 – 3nd Sunday after Pentecost

The bulletin may be accessed by clicking “Read More” below and looking under "downloads" at the bottom of the page.


Baptismal Water Is Thicker than Blood

Many, perhaps most, subcultures in North America affirm the belief that “blood is thicker than water.” Even when our commitment to family is too often served through hand-wringing sentiment over the so-called decline of the family or pandered to by politicians seeking to prove their “family values” credentials, we like to think of ourselves as loyal to our own kin. Family comes first! In the gospel, Jesus sharply, alarmingly, contradicts the norm; he snubs his nuclear family, his blood.

We discover that Jesus’ family is not defined by objective or biological categories—DNA tests, adoption records, or custody papers—but rather by function: Jesus’ family consists of those whom God has called into mission and are engaged in that mission.

Bringing a child of God from birth to maturity of faith requires many things, among them food, shelter, new birth, story, discipline, catechism, and an enduring hope in the one who raised Jesus from the dead. It is a joy to be celebrated when these gifts are provided by those who live in one’s own household—parents, grandparents, extended families. But Jesus reminds us (with an echo from Paul) that even when those nearest to us thwart God’s purposes, we “do not lose heart” but trust that God will call and create a household “not made with hands,” where God’s purposes for us will be nurtured and we will become like the one who “does the will of God.”

There is a strong challenge here to Christian communities to keep their focus on the mission of God and not be tempted to confuse God’s mission with what’s “best” for nations or communities or (even) nuclear families.


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  • Mail your Sunday offerings to: Christ Lutheran Church, Attn Wanda Weinberg, 69 Mill St., Athens, OH 45701
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